Storage unit application prompts de-annexation discussion

The proposed units would go on Brainerd's small portion of Dellwood Drive.

15770 Dellwood Drive on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Brainerd.
A vehicle drives along Dellwood Drive Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Brainerd. The location is near a proposed project by Central Lakes Area Storage at 15770 Dellwood Drive, which would see the construction of two buildings, each 130 feet in length, on the 2.52-acre property.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — A permit application for a mini storage unit facility along Dellwood Drive in Brainerd prompted conversation about whether the land should be part of the city.

Planning Commission members approved a conditional use permit Wednesday, Feb. 15, for a two-building mini storage unit facility at 15770 Dellwood Drive, which is on the northwestern edge of the city.

Proposed by Central Lakes Area Storage, the proposed project would see the construction of two buildings, each 130 feet in length, on the 2.52-acre property. The district is zoned general industry, which allows for storage units as a conditional use.

15770 Dellwood Drive on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Brainerd.
Trees stand along a snowy area proposed for construction of a storage facility on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. Landscaping is not required for industrial-zoned properties in this area, and no additional buffer would be needed, the city of Brainerd reported.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Landscaping is not required for industrial-zoned properties in this area, and no additional buffer would be needed, as Community Development Director James Kramvik said the property is a significant distance for abutting residential properties. The sides of the buildings facing the road must conform with the city’s design standards and can have no more than 50% metal paneling.

One person spoke during the Planning Commission’s public hearing Wednesday to ask about where the buildings would be located on the property, as his residence is next door. Commission Chair Kevin Yeager directed him to talk with Kramvik.


Commissioner Mike Duval suggested adding a condition to the permit that outdoor lights not exceed 3,000 Kelvins, in accordance with an updated lighting policy in the works.

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Commissioners unanimously recommended approval of the permit, and the City Council will have the final say at its next meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21.

As city water and sewer services do not reach to this property, and the city of Baxter maintains Dellwood Drive, commissioner Chuck Marohn suggested a discussion about de-annexation of that property and surrounding land.

“I remember when we were aggressively annexing property out along County Road 49 to try to get to this place with the idea that we would someday provide utilities. I don’t think we ever will,” Marohn said. “… It does raise the issue of — we have this really odd industrial parcel out here in the middle of nowhere that we don’t have any capacity to even provide service for. … We’re not maintaining the roadway. We’re not providing them service. What are we doing?”

Marohn suggested the land would be better suited to be in Unorganized Territory and asked how that conversation could get started. With general consensus from the rest of the commission, Kramvik said he would consult with the city attorney and come back to the commission with recommendations for the next steps.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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